Learn how to set a table with style
Q:This year marks the first time that I will be hosting our family's holiday dinner, and I want to set an extra-special table. Can you help me impress my guests?
A: The secret is to understand table setting etiquette and then bravely break the rules to make the table your own. Start simple: snowy white tablecloths and napkins are classic. I like contrast, so I mix nostalgic plates and dishes with a modern serving dish or platter. In my book, there’s no such thing as excess—so crowd that table with as many pretty things as will fit: Fill compotes with ornaments and set out glasses for Champagne, red and white wine and water. (I figure that if you use every piece of silver and crystal you have, people will assume your food is fabulous!) Stay away from stinky candles—nothing on the table should smell except the food! Finally, send guests home with a gift, like an antique teacup adorned with a dated gift tag, so they’ll have wonderful memories of your holiday gatherings. As long as you remember that the goal is to bring loved ones together at the holidays to feed them with food, stories and laughter, you’ll be a great success—whether or not you have a fish fork!Andy Newcom, Hallmark photo stylist
Set a table with styleReady to set your own picture-perfect holiday table—but can’t tell a salad fork from a seafood fork (let alone put the bread plate in the right spot)? Download Andy’s step-by-step table setting guide and you’ll be set to impress your guests.